Tha Carter III - Lil Wayne
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Filled with bold, entertaining wordplay and plenty of well-executed, left-field ideas, Tha Carter III should be considered as a wild, somewhat difficult child of Weezy's magnum opus in motion, one that allows the listener an exhilarating and unapologetic taste of artistic freedom.
  2. It's Wayne's personality that both floats and sinks TC III.
  3. With help from A-list guest stars (T-Pain, Robin Thicke) and producers (Kanye West, Swizz Beatz), Lil Wayne backs up the boasts [of "best rapper alive"] on the oft-delayed Tha Carter III.
  4. 90
    There's an exhilarating, disorienting sense of freedom tot he album, the ruse of rules being ignored. [Aug 2008, p.79]
  5. That said, it's not an instant classic, but it is the best rap album since Kanye West dropped "Graduation" last year.
  6. Though wrong and stupid kinda work (in a good way!), Tha Carter III is more a balanced, self-conscious synthesis of everything viably great about Lil Wayne, hyperbolic or not, than the penultimate statement of the MC’s “legendary” status.
  7. For merely running in place, TC3 can be transfixing. But it is not enough. [20 June 2008, p.66]
  8. We should have known. If his raspy, cartoonish voice didn't mark him as different, his quick wit, offhanded wordplay and quirky subject matter should have in a genre populated largely by grim-faced imitators.
  9. Gifted MC loses the run of himself without Mannie Fresh.
  10. Ultimately, Tha Carter III will have you believing in Wayne's greatness but wondering why, as often as not, he just isn't very good.
  11. From the start you know this is no mixtape because it's clearer and more forceful. Every track attends to detail, with fun tricks like the chipmunk-chorused "Mr. Carter"'s sudden descent into screwed-and-chopped before Jay-Z comes in.
  12. It’s eclectic, eccentric and yes, essential.
  13. Tha Carter III hearkens to when rap meant rapp: Isaac Hayes talking for days about some girl he broke with, or Bobby Womack signifying while strumming a blues guitar.
  14. Instead of hiding his bootleg-bred quirks in anticipation of the big-budget spotlight, he distills the myriad metaphors, convulsing flows, and vein-splitting emotions into a commercially gratifying package that's as weird as it wants to be; he eventually finds his guitar but keeps the strumming in check.
  15. Tha Carter III is a monumental album full of powerful, self-defeating statements that obliterate rap’s internal logic without offering too much more than indifferent bong logic in return. Judged, however, as a collection of singles and quotable verses--the criteria on which we’ve been grading hip-hop records since the end of disco--Tha Carter III is an agonizing piece of work.
  16. Tha Carter III soars because of Wayne’s to-date under-appreciated ability to turn himself down.
  17. The album is listenable, exciting and succeeds in reigniting interest in hip hop and rappers that dedicate their life to become great MC's, not just hustlers.
  18. This isn't a mixtape, it's a suite of songs, paced and sequenced for maxaqimum impact.
  19. One could easily pick and choose from the songs here to make a more coherent 12-track album; such a record would likely have more immediate impact. But it'd also be kind of painful to cut anything.
  20. Tha Carter III is scattershot, which oddly strengthens its faults, as if any lull in quality means that the next batch of producers can just reset the formula.
  21. He's the man of the moment, but the disc's best moments strive for timelessness and attain it.
  22. All rappers ride on the claim that they’re the best, but on III Wayne makes his case.
  23. He breaks language down into building blocks for new metaphors, exploiting every possible semantic and phonetic loophole for humour and yanking pop culture references into startling new contexts.
  24. Now, equipped with the stylish, but too-often substance-less Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne seems poised to flip the script on the “rapper racists” (radio stations, MTV) by evolving into the “biggest” rapper alive.
  25. 80
    In which the prince of hip hop get a blessing from the king. [Sep 2008, p.110]
  26. 90
    Maybe that's how we need to view this record--a little less anxious in our anticipation and balanced out with a little more enjoyment. Then, it just might be a classic.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 216 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 84
  2. Negative: 21 out of 84
  1. Jun 27, 2011
    0
    To start off, he doesn't actually rap once during this piece of sh*t album. He talks slowly and auto-tunes his voice so he doesn't sound like a retarded monkey, even though he ends up sounding like one. He should kill his dumbass manager who lets him continue making this music and then kill himself, that way nobody has to hear any of his new music. Full Review »
  2. Oct 23, 2011
    0
    This Album Sucks. Tha Carter III Is Relying Too Much On Autotune And Beats. His Lyrics Needs A Huge Improvement. But Other Than That, The Other Albums Released In 2008 Is WAY Better Than This. I Did Not Enjoy Any Tracks On This Album Whatso Ever. Jay-Z Murdered Him On Mr. Carter. Full Review »
  3. j30
    Sep 28, 2011
    1
    I really don't understand how this guy gets so much props for this garbage (oh yeah, it's all opinion). In my opinion with all the auto-tune and (stupid) ridiculous rhymes, this album adds up to one stinky turd that'll be forgotten a couple years from now (see 50 Cent). Full Review »